JS, History, 1838–1856, vol. D-1, created 4 July 1845–4 Feb. 1846 and 1 July 1854–2 May 1855; handwriting of , Robert L. Campbell, and ; 275 pages, plus 6 pages of addenda; CHL. This is the fourth volume of a six-volume manuscript history of the church. This fourth volume covers the period from 1 Aug. 1842 to 1 July 1843; the remaining five volumes, labeled A-1, B-1, C-1, E-1 and F-1, continue through 8 Aug. 1844.
History, 1838–1856, volume D-1, constitutes the fourth of six volumes documenting the life of Joseph Smith and the early years of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. The series is also known as the Manuscript History of the Church and was originally published serially from 1842 to 1846 and 1851 to 1858 as the “History of Joseph Smith” in the Times and Seasons and Deseret News. This volume contains JS’s history from 1 August 1842 to 1 July 1843, and it was compiled after JS’s death.
The material recorded in volume D-1 was initially compiled under the direction of church historian , with the assistance of . After Richards’s death in 1854, continued work on the volume as the new church historian with Bullock’s continued help. The process adopted by Richards and Bullock involved Richards creating a set of rough draft notes and Bullock transcribing the notes into the volume along with the text of designated documents (such as letters and meeting minutes). George A. Smith followed a similar pattern, though he dictated the draft notes to Bullock and other scribes.
According to the Church Historian’s Office journal, finished the third volume of the series, volume C-1, on Thursday, 3 July 1845, in , Illinois. He began work on the fourth volume, D-1, the next day, beginning on page 1362 with the entry for 1 August 1842. (The pages in volumes A-1–E-1 were numbered consecutively.) Bullock continued work on the record, drawing upon ’s draft notes, until 3 February 1846—the day before D-1 and the other volumes were packed up in preparation for the Latter-day Saints’ exodus from Nauvoo. At that point he had reached page 1485 with the entry for 28 February 1843. Subsequently, apparently after the collection had arrived in Utah, Bullock added a brief comment beneath that entry: “end of W. Richard’s compiling[.] the books packed Feby. 4— 1846 in Nauvoo[.] Miles Romney— present. The records carried by T Bullock from Winter Quarters to G S L [Great Salt Lake] City in 1848.”
A notation at the top of page 1486 reports that “the books were unpacked in G. S. L. City by and . June 7. 1853. J[onathan] Grimshaw & Miles Romney present.” Vertically, in the margin, is a poignant epitaph: “Decr. 1 1853 Dr. Willard Richards wrote one line of History—being sick at the time—and was never able to do any more.” With Richards’s death on 11 March 1854, JS’s cousin was called to the office of church historian. The notation on the top of page 1486 acknowledges this change in officers, noting, “commencement of George A. Smith’s compiling as Historian. April 13. 1854[.] [C]ommenced copying July 1. 1854.” From mid-April to the end of June 1854, George A. Smith, in collaboration with Thomas Bullock, worked on the draft notes for the history before a new scribe, , resumed writing in D-1 on 1 July 1854, beginning with the entry for 1 March 1843.
continued transcribing intermittently into the late fall of 1854, when he was assigned other duties in the Historian’s Office. He had reached page 1546 with the entry for 5 May 1843. Work resumed in February 1855 in the hand of Robert L. Campbell, recently returned from a mission. He concluded volume D-1 on the morning of 2 May 1855 and began writing in E-1 that afternoon.
The 274 pages of volume D-1 contain a record of much that is significant in the life of JS and the development of the church he founded. Among these events are
• JS’s 6 August 1842 prophecy that the Saints would become a mighty people in the midst of the Rocky Mountains.
•JS’s 8 August 1842 arrest on a warrant for being “an accessory before the fact” to an attack on former governor .
• ’s 17 August 1842 letter to governor , pleading for the humane treatment of her husband and family.
•JS’s 1 and 6 September 1842 instructions regarding the proper procedures for performing baptisms for the dead.
• JS’s 15 November 1842 “Valedictory” as he stepped down as editor of the Times and Seasons.
• The 26 December 1842 arrest of JS on a “proclamation” by former governor , and subsequent hearing in , Illinois.
• The 7 February 1843 recovery of a volume of patriarchal blessings given by , which had been stolen in , Missouri.
• JS’s 21 February 1843 remarks regarding the and .
• JS’s 2 April 1843 instruction at , Illinois, on the nature of God and other subjects.
• JS’s 16 May 1843 remarks at , Illinois, on the everlasting covenant and eternal marriage.
• The account of JS’s 23 June 1843 arrest and his hearing the following week at .
<May 3> Directed a letter to be written to Gen. of , to have him meet the “Maid of ” on her return from , and arrange with the proprietors, to turn her into a Nauvoo Ferry Boat; which was done <the> same hour.
The first number of the “Nauvoo Neighbor” issued by and in place of the “Wasp” which ceased, and I here insert their first Editorial.
“We now, according to promise, present our young friend before the [HC 5:380] world, in his new dress, and with his new name. As the last week has been one of the warm weeks, in the spring when vegetation springs forth, and life and animation is given to the vegetable world; so our efforts to cultivate the plant of intelligence, having been watered by industry, enlivened by perseverance, and warmed by the genial rays of patronage, have not been unsuccessful; for the young gentleman has grown in one short week to double his former size. Relative to his dress, we have to apologize a little, as we did not live near a store we could not get all the trimmings which we could have desired, to have made him pass so well with the elite in the fashionable world However among plain folks he will now pass very well, and we soon expect to see him in a form that will suit the taste of the most fastidious.
Relative to the course that we shall pursue, we shall endeavor to cultivate a friendly feeling towards all, and not interfere with the rights of others, either politically or religiously. We shall advocate the cause of the innocent and oppressed, uphold the cause of right, sustain the principles of Republicanism, and fly to the succor of the helpless and forlorn, pouring in oil and wine to their wounds, and acting in every way to all the human family in the capacity that our name imports, viz: that of a neighbor.
We have had, and may have to defend ourselves against the oppressions, persecutions, and innovations of men; and if this should be the case, we shall not shrink from the task; but shall fearlessly, and unflinchingly, defend our rights; sustaining that liberty which our glorious constitution guarantees to every American citizen, for which our fathers jeopardized their liberty their lives, and their sacred honor.
Amidst the warring elements that are disturbing the world, we are glad to find so amiable and friendly a spirit manifested to us at the present time by <the> press, and we can assure them that so long as they let us alone we shall not interfere with them; it has been our study to avoid contention, and we have never interfered with others until they have thrown down the gauntlet. And as we have not been to the present, so we are determined for the future not to be the aggressors.
We have always endeavored to cultivate a spirit of friendship, amity, and peace with mankind, if we have not succeeded the fault has not been with us. Rumor with her ten thousand tongues has always been busy circulating falsehood and misrepresentation concerning us, and men have frequently in the absence of correct information, entertained unfavorable opinions concerning us, and have spoken as they thought; but when they have been better informed they have regretted their course and have seen that calumny has been like a viper in our path, and has stung like an adder. [HC 5:381]
In regard to our political rights, our religion has frequently been made use of by political demagogues as a bugbear to deprive us of the free, untrammeled sights of American [p. 1545]